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Friday, October 23, 2009

Do You Really Care?

How do you care for a rubber roof?
Chuck, (Cocoa, FL)

Chuck, my first response would be "with compassion," but after thoughtful repose I offer this: By nature, EPDM rubber requires no protection from UV rays or ozone bombardment, though it is prone to oxidize. Normal oxidation is a condition due to the disintegration of surface binders or elastomers simply by weathering. Other destructive environmental conditions can also add to the degree of chalking. The result is that surface chalking actually removes a portion of the rubber. This is a normal occurrence and you should not be concerned about the direct effect on the rubber itself. Oxidation will, however, usually manifest itself as long, unsightly streaks running down the sides of the RV. The streaks are usually caused by dirt, road grime and air-borne pollutants that settle and adhere to the roof and are washed over the side along with the loosened powdery surface elastomer. The simple solution is to keep the roof clean. The degree of chalking associated with EPDM may vary from coach to coach. And according to the makers, tighter controls during the copolymerizing procedure leads to a slower rate of oxidation though most will surrender up to 10% of the overall thickness during the life of the roof. But that’s for the manufacturers to worry about.

Cleaning your rubber roof should be a regularly scheduled maintenance task performed often enough to keep the EPDM surface white. Usually four to six times per year will suffice depending on your climate and its propensity to gather and distribute dirt, and how pure the copolymerizing process was performed during manufacture.

Here's a link to a more in-depth article regarding EPDM roofing, portions of which, were repeated here. 

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